The Second Sex is a representative work of Simone de Beauvoir, who was the pioneer of the feminist movement in France during the twentieth century. The book is divided into two volumes. The first volume, discusses changes in the situation of females, their power and status, the feminine issues from point of view of the group. The second volume, describes physiological, mental and situational change of all the ages and all typs of women.
The thesis surveys the feminine situation in Taiwan probing in depth into the issues related to the feminine situation. It discusses discriminatory conditions and the inequal treatment which women suffer in all aspects of life. Above all, to advance the profound discussions and analyses of women’s issues to awaken people to a sense of awareness of the problems in order to help solve them and eliminate vagueness of women’s societal role as “the second sex”. Further, it contrasts the principles in feminist theory of The Second Sex with the issues of women face in Taiwan. Simone de Beauvoir’s viewpoint is applied by looking into the status of the second sex of women in Taiwan and measures by using various reflections to apply it to the development and the progress of the feminist movement in general. The thesis has three chapters: Chapter I, an analysis of feminine issues from The Second Sex. It describes the development of the occidental feminist movement, discusses feminism, others and existence, from a women’s perspective, and the turning points and the dilemmas of career woman in the area of occupation. Chapter II, a discussion about feminine issues in Taiwan, deals with the development and the progress of feminism in Taiwan, some of the awkward situations which women of Taiwan find themselves in, and obstacles faced in areas of family, education and occupation. Finally, in chapter III, explanation of the theory of The Second Sex and applying it to the feminine issues in Taiwan. It is a summary that combines ideas in chapters one and two to bring up the constructive opinions. There is a discussion about the writing of five French writers and an additional analysis of the difficulties and the solutions a woman balancing the role of mother and career woman may need, as well.
The primary intent of The Second Sex is not as much to bring up concrete solutions to change women’s secondary status, as it is to awaken women to their own need to discard gender prejudices. The Second Sex lets women know: They can make a choice to be equal, by discarding a male orientated society’s indoctrination that makes women feel inferior they can turn inward to realizing a deep consciousness that they are not, all it takes is enough courage, self-confidence, and equally important, effort.